The Holiday Effect – Part 2

So, this was the first week of my get-back-into-shape program. My plan was to exercise six days per week, stick to a clean diet, drink more water, take my vitamins…

Exercise was never a problem for me. Since I’m a trainer and work at a gym, I have no excuse for not working out. I designed a program focusing on gaining lean muscle while maximizing the fat burn. It was inspired on Jim Stoppani’s “Shortcut to Shred” program. It consisted on heavy to moderate load weight training with bouts of cardio exercise in between sets. Since I was going to train six days per week, the program was split into two phases: the first three days contained heavy compound exercises and the following three were composed of moderate load isolation exercises. All the sets were to be taken to temporary muscle failure and the last set was a drop set (progressively reducing the load to include a few more reps in the set).

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Chest

Triceps

Glutes

Horizontal pull

Biceps

Abs

Legs

Shoulders

Chest

Triceps

Glutes

Vertical pull

Biceps

Abs

Legs

Shoulders

Active Recovery

Table 1: Program split.

But maybe I was too ambitious on my return. The idea was to perform a 30-second bout of cardio (high knees, start jumps) after every set. However, that didn’t last long. After the first round, I was exhausted and wasn’t being able to perform the exercises with proper form (I was shaky and my stabilization was poor). Therefore, for safety reasons, I was forced to stop.

I never felt so weak. I had to reduce the load several times in order to complete a set. The good news was that taking a set to failure was not a problem. Mind you that I have a training partner, therefore we can take sets to muscle failure safely. For the first time, I felt drained during my workout session and couldn’t wait to get it over. The first day back was the worst. Besides feeling physically exhausted, I also felt frustrated. Nonetheless life goes on.

The next few days, I was so sore I could barely move. My chest and triceps were on fire, my legs were wobbly and you couldn’t touch my lats without me screaming. But I am stubborn and decided to stick to my plan. I did complete the workout plan for the whole week. Yes, I had to cut the cardio acceleration exercises and reduce the load. Besides that, I was on course.

In the following post, I will talk about my diet plan (struggles and all), healthy substitutions you can make to stay on track, and macronutrient balance for fat loss. I will even throw in a few recipes. Stay tuned.

Want a sneak peak of my exercise program? Click here to download.